Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 07, 2009
Bioelectricity promises more 'miles per acre' than ethanol
Biofuels such as ethanol offer an alternative to petroleum for powering our cars, but growing energy crops to produce them can compete with food crops for farmland, and clearing forests to expand farmland will aggravate the climate change problem.

Study in pregnant women suggests probiotics may help ward off obesity
One year after giving birth, women were less likely to have the most dangerous kind of obesity if they had been given probiotics from the first trimester of pregnancy, found new research that suggests manipulating the balance of bacteria in the gut may help fight obesity.

Medical and Veterinary Entomology
The latest information on developments in entomology relating to public health and veterinary importance with two separate indexes for enhanced searchability: taxonomic and subject, as well as increased focus on the molecular aspects of entomology, genome projects and forensic studies.

Brain cell mechanism for decision making also underlies judgment about certainty
University of Washington researchers who study how the brain makes decisions are uncovering the biological mechanisms behind belief that a choice is likely to be correct.

Faster computers, electronic devices possible after scientists create large-area graphene on copper
The creation of large-area graphene using copper may enable the manufacture of new graphene-based devices that meet the scaling requirements of the semiconductor industry, leading to faster computers and electronics, according to a team of scientists and engineers at the University of Texas at Austin.

New national initiative to transform safety-net clinics into medical homes in 5 states
The Commonwealth Fund, in collaboration with eight co-funders, is launching a national Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, which will provide $6 million dollars over four years to help 68 community health centers in five states transform into patient-centered medical homes.

Always safely on the go
How can we better protect rescue workers when they are deployed in a catastrophe -- or find avalanche victims more efficiently?

Kidney disease patients reap rewards of prevention
Making sure you see your doctor and have tests run on a regular basis can prevent serious complications of chronic kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Report examines limits of national power grid simulations
The report,

Online surveillance tools provide opportunity to support public health
Tapping the Internet is fast becoming a way to get a complete, up-to-the-minute view of public health threats, say researchers from the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston in a perspectives article published online first by the New England Journal of Medicine today.

Rabbits on the back foot -- but naturally they're fighting back
Australian scientists have found that some Australian rabbits living in cool, high-rainfall areas are immune to normally devastating rabbit hemorrhagic disease, or the calicivirus.

HudsonAlpha investigator develops rapid response swine flu test
Dr. Jian Han, faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, has completed development of a rapid response, molecular-level assay for swine flu, the current strain of the H1N1 family of the influenza virus.

Is it reasonable to perform polypectomy without interruption of anticoagulation?
A research team from the United States reviewed their experience of removing small colon polyps without interrupting anticoagulation.

IOF launches educational slide kit to enhance understanding of FRAX
A concise yet comprehensive FRAX teaching aid for health professionals is now available free of charge on the IOF website.

Visualizing virus replication in 3 dimensions
Dengue fever is the most common infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes -- some 100 million people around the world are infected.

Shortfall in business innovation at the root of Canada's lagging productivity
Canada's persistent weakness in productivity growth is due to business strategy choices.

New: Neuromodulation
This book is the first comprehensive and in-depth reference textbook covering all aspects of the rapidly growing field of neuromodulation, by providing a complete discussion of the fundamental principles of neuromodulation and therapies applied to the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, autonomic nerves and various organs.

Why silkworms find mulberries attractive
A new study published online on May 7 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, has found the source of silkworms' attraction to mulberry leaves, their primary food source.

ASGE recognizes 68 endoscopy units for quality and safety through endoscopy unit recognition program
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized 68 endoscopy units as part of its new program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States.

Patients with mild to moderate OSA may benefit from exercise
Practicing certain tongue and pharyngeal exercises may reduce symptoms of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research being published in the second issue for May of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers find way to cut cattle methane, threat to environment, by 25 percent
Beef farmers can breathe easier thanks to University of Alberta researchers who have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle.

OU professor teams with German scientists on discovery of rare molecule
James Shaffer, professor in the OU Department of Physics, was part of the German-led team that made the recent discovery that some say demonstrates a

NASA's THEMIS: 'singing' electrons help create and destroy 'killer' electrons
Scientists using NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft have discovered how radio waves produced by electrons injected into Earth's near-space environment both generate and remove high-speed

Study: US-Canadian shale could neutralize Russian energy threat to Europeans
Rising shale gas production in the United States and Canada as well as potential natural gas supplies from Iraq could be pivotal in curbing Russia's ability to organize an

Glucose to glycerol conversion in long-lived yeast provides anti-aging effects
Cell biologists have found a more filling substitute for caloric restriction in extending the life span of simple organisms.

More protection against explosives and nuclear material in freight containers
Illegally transported, conventional explosives and nuclearly relevant or radioactive materials can enable international terror organizations to transport hazardous materials for attacks to any place in the world.

Intriguing early results for device that reshapes enlarged, leaky heart valve
An innovative device that acts like a belt to reshape an enlarged, leaky heart valve is providing a minimally invasive treatment option for patients who are too sick for open-heart surgery.

Low blood sugar: A killer for kidney disease patients?
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, poses a serious health threat for patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Dengue fever costs billions in health care, lost productivity and absenteeism
Researchers at Brandeis, in collaboration with several other institutions worldwide, have pinpointed for the first time the multicountry economic costs of dengue fever, the mosquito-borne illness that is a rapidly growing public health problem in tropical and sub-tropical countries.

Hubble repair mission carrying $70 million CU-Boulder instrument on track for May 11 launch
A $70 million instrument designed by the University of Colorado at Boulder to probe the evolution of galaxies, stars and intergalactic matter from its perch on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope is on schedule for its slated May 11 launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard NASA's space shuttle Atlantis.

Undiagnosed diabetes takes economic toll
Approximately 6.3 million adults -- or 1/4 of the people in the US with diabetes mellitus -- are unaware they have the disease, and this undiagnosed population accounts for an estimated $18 billion in health care costs each year, according to a study in a recent issue of Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

'Youth and Crime' author to speak on young people in conflict with the law
Best selling author John Muncie will today launch the third edition of his core criminology textbook,

Korean researchers led by Tae Gwan Park and Jinwoo Cheon have developed the basis for a four-in-one agent that can detect, target and disable tumor cells while also making them macroscopically and microscopically visible.

Numbers of stroke caused by intracerebral hemorrhage have increased by around 1/5 in the last decade
Stokes caused by nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage are caused by a rupture of blood vessels in the brain.

Questions over the Gates Foundation's allocation of funds -- to whom do they answer?
A paper in this week's Lancet raises questions about the transparency, accountability and governance of the Gates Foundation.

New moms find both support and anxiety as a group
Whether they like it or not, new moms are often plunged into a narrowly defined community that is often fraught with conflict and tension, otherwise known as

Refined Hubble Constant narrows explanations for dark energy
Whatever dark energy is, explanations for it have less wiggle room following a Hubble Space Telescope observation that has refined the measurement of the universe's present expansion rate to a precision where the error is smaller than 5 percent.

Encyclopedia of Insects
The second edition of this reference will continue the tradition by providing the most comprehensive, useful and up-to-date resource for professionals.

Study finds homicidal poisoning rising, more likely in infants and elderly
Homicidal poisonings are rare but on the rise -- and infants are the most common victims -- according to a new University of Georgia study that aims to raise awareness of this often overlooked crime.

New research under way to study treatment for older adults with bipolar disorder
Continuing their groundbreaking research into the treatment of mood disorders in older adults, psychiatrists at the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division in White Plains will begin new studies on the effects of quetiapine (Seroquel: Astra Zeneca) and lamotrigine (Lamictal: GlaxoSmithKline).

Study reveals current multicomponent vaccines may need reworking
Current strategies for designing vaccines against HIV and cancers, for instance, may enable some components in multicomponent vaccines to cancel the effect of others on the immune system, eliminating their ability to provide protection, according to an article to be published shortly in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Expression of infrared fluorescence engineered in mammals
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego -- led by 2008 Nobel-Prize winner Roger Tsien, Ph.D.

'Portfolios of the Poor' offers rare look at the financial lives of the world's poor
A new book,

Computer simulation at the duodenal stump after gastric resection
To investigate the flow and mixing at the duodenal stump after gastric resection, a computer simulation was implemented.

A potential anti-ulcer herb medicine: Rocket 'Eruca sativa'
A research group from Saudi Arabia studied the anti-ulcer properties of Rocket

Health and well-being in old age: It's still money that counts
The impact that wealth and social class has on people's well-being in old age is far greater than is often assumed.

Consumers more likely to identify healthy food using traffic light nutrition labels
Consumers are five times more likely to identify healthy food when they see color-coded traffic light nutrition labels than when labels present the information numerically by showing what percentage of the recommended daily nutrient intake each portion provides, according to new research presented on Friday at the European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam.

Big prize for 'small science' physicist
The head of CSIRO's Virtual Nanoscience Laboratory, Dr. Amanda Barnard, has won the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics 2009 Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics.

Too much of a good thing
Temple University study indicates that having an extremely high body image can lead to health problems.

Stigma increases likelihood that drug users reoffend
Punitive policies intended to reduce drug use by making life difficult for convicted users are counterproductive and actually lead to a vicious spiral of drug use and re-incarceration.

Meet DNA's personal assistants
Just as scientists finished sequencing the human genome, they got a new surprise.

Cell's split personality is a major discovery into neurological diseases
Researchers at the Universite de Montreal and the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, have discovered that cells which normally support nerve cell (neuron) survival also play an active and major role in the death of neurons in the eye.

UCLA scientists identify how key protein keeps chronic infection in check
A new UCLA AIDS Institute study explains how a protein released by immune cells during chronic infection could restrict viruses like HIV and hepatitis C from spreading through the body.

Disappearing act of world's second largest fish explained
Researchers have discovered where basking sharks -- the world's second largest fish -- hide out for half of every year, according to a report published online on May 7 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

More pills, less quality of life for kidney patients
The more pills a dialysis patients takes, the worse their health-related quality of life, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Honeybees are on the rise but demand grows faster
The notion that a decline in pollinators may threaten the human food supply -- producing a situation that has been referred to as a

Study finds children's activity levels not influenced by more PE time in school
Scheduling more physical education time in schools does not mean children will increase their activity levels, suggests new research that discovered those who got lots of timetabled exercise at school compensated by doing less at home while those who got little at school made up for it by being more active at home.

Dementia: Early detection is key
CSIRO recognizes the importance of studies like the report Access Economics recently released,

Penn State entomologists seek fungus to blunt mosquitoes' sense of smell
Sick people often lose their sense of smell and their appetite.

Author Declan Walsh honored with National Leadership Award in Palliative Medicine
Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, congratulates Declan Walsh on receiving the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine's 2009 Project on Death in America Palliative Medicine National Leadership Award at the AAHPM 2009 Annual Assembly on March 26.

'Gecko vision': Key to the multifocal contact lens of the future?
Nocturnal geckos are among the very few living creatures able to see colors at night, and scientists' discovery of series of distinct concentric zones may lead to insight into better cameras and contact lenses.

Global monsoon drives long-term carbon cycles in the ocean
Monsoon has significant roles in the socioeconomic life of the majority of the world population.

Home UVB therapy for psoriasis as effective and safe as hospital treatment
For patients with psoriasis, treatment with ultraviolet B at home is as effective and as safe as conventional hospital based phototherapy, concludes a study published on today.

New technique may help detect potential breast cancer spread
A new phase III clinical trial of early stage breast cancer patients has shown that a molecule designed to home in on nearby lymph nodes is just as accurate as current techniques, but faster, more specific and easier to use.

Transmission of MRSA and Clostridium difficile through dogs
S. Lefebvre and J.S. Weese from the University of Guelph in Canada describe a study that investigated whether MRSA and C. difficile could be passed between pet therapy dogs and patients.

X-rays help predict permanent bone damage from bisphosphonates
Bisphosphonates have been found to place people at risk for developing osteonecrosis of the jaws (a rotting of the jaw bones).

A new light on the mechanisms of early stage liver reperfusion injury
A research group from Iran tried to illustrate structural and biochemical changes in the early stage of reperfusion in the rat livers exposed to lobar ischemia-reperfusion.

New study reveals the financial effects of stroke in China
A new study has found that families in China face considerable economic hardship following stroke, and it is not uncommon for health care costs to push families below the poverty line.

Timing is everything for northern shrimp populations in the north Atlantic
Even for Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis), which support commercial fisheries worldwide, timing is everything in life.

Team of researchers achieves major step toward faster chips
New research findings could lead to faster, smaller and more versatile computer chips.

New look at Facebook and grades
News last month of a pilot study suggesting that college students' use of Facebook was related to lower college academic achievement probably sent more than a few parents reeling.

Is dephytinization from infant cereals beneficial to the nutrition absorption?
A research group from Spain studied the effect of the dephytinization of three different commercial infant cereals on iron, calcium and zinc intestinal absorption in infant.

Experts on magnetic cooling to converge on Des Moines
Experts from around the globe will be converging on Des Moines May 12-15 to discuss the state of the art of magnetic refrigeration.

Constant sunlight linked to summer suicide spike
Suicide rates in Greenland increase during the summer, peaking in June.

Massage after exercise myth busted by Queen's research team
A Queen's University research team has blown open the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products.

Creating the astro-comb to locate Earth-like planets
Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

University awarded £1.7M to develop nanotechnology for use in health care
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been awarded £1.7 million ($2.55 million) to investigate how nanotechnology could be used to improve the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs.

OHSU researchers study the idling brain
OHSU researchers have uncovered new information about portions of the brain that spontaneously activate together when a person is at rest.

Far UV detector built by UC Berkeley is part of new instrument to be installed on Hubble
When the space shuttle Atlantis takes off May 11, it will be carrying a new instrument for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, that will scan the universe in the near and far ultraviolet in search of clues to the origin and evolution of galaxies.

Up to 1 in 6 older people living at home face malnutrition risk
A study of nearly 600 people aged 75 and over has shown that as many as one in six risked malnutrition.

UIC receives $1M HUD grant to study green healthy housing
The University of Illinois at Chicago has received nearly $1 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to study the benefits of green healthy housing.

Study suggests biomass converted into electricity could be more efficient than ethanol
A study lead by UC Merced's Elliott Campbell suggests that biomass used to generate electricity could be more efficient than ethanol.

New GSA volume takes bite out of Southern California geoscience
The Southern California Continental Borderland and the associated Western Transverse Ranges make up one of the most distinctive environments on the North American west coast.

IMPAKT -- Breast cancer conference highlights
This release contains a selection of newsworthy information being presented at the first IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference.

UC Riverside receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant
Entomologist Anandasankar Ray of the University of California, Riverside has received funding of $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore new and effective insect repellents that are cheap and environmentally safe. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to